Tell FDA to Ban Amalgam for Pregnant Women, Children and Nursing Mothers

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

Dental amalgam — deceptively marketed as “silver” fillings, denoting their color rather than their composition — are 50 percent mercury and therefore really should not be placed in the mouth.

Mercury is a potent and well-recognized neurotoxin, and there’s no magic formula or process that renders it safe once it’s in your teeth. As noted by Charlie Brown, former attorney general for West Virginia and president of Consumers for Dental Choice:

“In its amalgam rule, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concedes that this mercury product poses a risk for the unborn and young children: ‘The developing neurological systems in fetuses and young children may be more sensitive to the neurotoxic effects of mercury vapor.’

FDA also admits that there is no scientific proof that amalgam is safe for these populations: ‘Very limited to no clinical information is available regarding long-term health outcomes in pregnant women and their developing fetuses, and children under the age of [6], including infants who are breastfed.’”

Despite such admissions, the FDA’s amalgam rule continues to support and promote the use of amalgam. This toxic and health harming practice needs to end and, in the video above, Brown details two recent developments that really should force the FDA to finally take action.

Two Groundbreaking Developments Highlighting the Need for FDA Action on Amalgam

In 2013, the Minamata Convention, which is focused on reducing environmental mercury pollution, was signed by more than 100 nations, including the U.S.

Consumers for Dental Choice was instrumental in getting dental mercury included in this global treaty, which requires participating nations to phase down dental amalgam.

In the three years since, the FDA has not responded or taken any action regarding this requirement — yet they have no choice; they must do so eventually, so why not now?

Then, in December of last year, the European Union reached an agreement of its three parts — Parliament, Council and Commission — to ban mercury dental fillings in pregnant or nursing women and children under the age of 15.1,2

This spring, the European Parliament ratified the package of reforms to implement Minamata, including the partial amalgam ban, by an astounding margin of 663 to 8! The ban takes effect on July 1, 2018.

This means women and children in 28 countries, with a population totaling more than half a billion people, will be protected from this dangerous neurotoxin.  

Meanwhile, in the U.S., the FDA — which claims to be the “gold standard” in medical device regulation — has done nothing, zilch, zero, at all to safeguard even the most vulnerable among us.

The agency admits amalgam poses a risk for unborn and young children, and that it has no proof amalgam is safe for use in these populations, so why has it not taken action to protect Americans?

The FDA simply must take action on this issue, and between the Minamata treaty and the E.U.’s partial ban on amalgam, the agency really has no choice but to do what the treaty requires and 28 other countries have agreed to do already, which is to ban the use of amalgam in children under 15, pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

Banning amalgam use for these groups is an important first step toward mercury-free dentistry for everyone. In Sweden, once amalgam was banned for children and pregnant women, a total ban was soon to follow.

To remind the FDA of its responsibility, please take a moment right now to sign the Consumers for Dental Choice petition to the FDA to ban amalgam in these most vulnerable groups — the first step toward banning amalgam use for everyone.

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

Mercury Has No Place in Modern Dentistry

Mercury-containing amalgam is a primitive and toxic dental repair device that is technically inferior to modern alternatives. It simply has no place in modern dentistry. One of the most popular alternatives to amalgam is resin composite, which is made of a type of plastic reinforced with powdered glass.

It is already common throughout the U.S. and the rest of the developed world, offering notable improvements over amalgam as it’s nontoxic, environmentally safe, allows the dentist to preserve healthy tooth structure and has excellent durability, typically lasting as long or longer than amalgams.

Meanwhile, evidence shows dental amalgams readily release mercury in the form of vapor every time you eat, drink or brush your teeth, with a single amalgam filling releasing an average of 10 micrograms (mcg) per day.

The video above demonstrates this. For comparison, eating mercury-tainted seafood can expose you to about 2.3 mcg per day, which was enough for scientists to call for a worldwide warning in 2006.

Mercury promotes chronic inflammation, which is a key factor in most chronic disease. It also impairs your body’s ability to detoxify, and toxic load is another component driving chronic disease rates skyward.

Beware of Metals in Dentistry

Today, about 50 percent of American dentists offer mercury-free dentistry. That percentage really needs to be 100 percent, and to accelerate change, it’s important that you demand mercury-free dentistry for yourself and your children — both from your dentist and your insurance company.

If they refuse, switch dentists; switch insurance. Consumer pressure is by far the fastest way to eliminate a hazardous practice. Ideally, you should not have any kind of metal in your mouth. When metals, such as those used in crowns and implants, are placed in your mouth, they sit in a medium of saliva, which turns your mouth into a charged battery. We call this charge “galvanic toxicity.”

Your brain is a collection of nerves and supportive connective tissues that are highly sensitive to these microamp currents. Galvanic toxicity in your mouth can easily disrupt sensitive neural circuits and function. Common signs and symptoms of galvanic toxicity are a metallic taste in your mouth, an electric charge with utensils and insomnia.

Finding suitable materials to replace the metals currently used can be a challenge, but a knowledgeable biological dentist should be able to inform you of the latest, safe alternatives. Holistic dentists use biocompatible materials that will not adversely impact your immune system.

EPA Sued for Withdrawing Mercury Policy

Dental amalgams are also a significant source of environmental mercury pollution, which is why it was included in the Minamata treaty in the first place. There are 130,000 dental offices in the U.S., about 103,000 of which still either use or remove amalgam fillings.3 Together, these dentists discharge about 5.1 tons of mercury each year to publically owned water treatment plants4 and, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), “most of this mercury is subsequently released to the environment.”

Indeed, dental offices are the single largest source of mercury pollution at sewage treatment plants — mercury pollution that then ends up accumulating in the environment and contaminating fish. In December 2016, the EPA finally — after more than 15 years of debate and inaction — finalized a rule that would restrict these kinds of mercury discharges by requiring dentists to install amalgam separators and follow best management practices.

Alas, the rule was unceremoniously withdrawn following a regulatory freeze order issued by the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, on January 20, 2017, and the EPA is now facing a lawsuit because of it. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which filed the suit, the EPA cannot legally withdraw its mercury protection rule without first going through the Administrative Procedure Act notice and comment process.

The NRDC also contends that, technically, the regulatory freeze order does not even apply to the dental amalgam rule because the order exempts “any regulations subject to statutory or judicial deadlines.” NRDC’s litigation director, Aaron Colangelo, said in a statement:5

“The Trump White House ordered the EPA and other agencies to violate the law … That puts Americans at greater risk of exposure to this dangerous neurotoxin, which can do harm even in tiny amounts … EPA’s withdrawal of the mercury rule is not just illegal, but senseless. The rule imposes minimal burden, drew widespread praise from dental providers and benefits public health and the environment.”

Important Safety Information for Amalgam Removal

For those of you who have mercury fillings, I recommend having them removed by a competent biological dentist who follows protocols for amalgam removal. When amalgams are removed, a large amount of mercury is released, and if the proper precautions aren’t taken, your body can absorb a massive dose of mercury that can lead to acute kidney problems.

Biological dentists are well aware of these dangers. Some of the steps that need to be taken to keep you and your dentist safe during amalgam removal include:

? Providing you with an alternative air source and instructing you not to breathe through your mouth

? Putting a rubber dam in your mouth so you don’t swallow or inhale any toxins, and using a high-volume evacuator near the tooth at all times to evacuate the mercury vapor

? Using a cold-water spray to minimize mercury vapors

? Washing your mouth out immediately after the fillings have been removed (the dentist should also change gloves after the removal)

? Immediately cleaning your protective wear and face once the fillings are removed

? Using room air purifiers

How to Find a Mercury-Free Dentist and/or Biological Dentist for Amalgam Removal

The mercury-safe dentist directory by the International Association of Mercury Safe Dentists (IAMSD) is a source that can be useful if you’re looking for a mercury-free dentist. Through this service, you can search for mercury-free dentists (members of IAMSD) in the U.S., Canada and internationally.

When it comes to amalgam you already have, it is vital that you do not see just any conventionally trained dentist to remove your mercury like I did 23 years ago. That will likely cause more problems than it solves. You should only use a biologically trained dentist who has the skills to remove this highly toxic metal without harming you, as removing amalgam can lead to severe and acute mercury poisoning. Biological dentists are trained to treat your oral and physical health as a cohesive whole.

The following organizations can help you find a dentist qualified in the safe removal of mercury fillings in the U.S. and (in some cases) internationally:

Tailoring a Detoxification Protocol

Once you’ve had your amalgam fillings safely removed, you need to consider a detoxification protocol to address any mercury toxicity you may have in your body as a result of those amalgams. For my mercury detoxification protocol, please see “Revised Protocol for Detoxifying Your Body From Mercury Exposure.”

I have been doing a deep dive into heavy metal detoxification and hope to post my revised protocol that involves using a low EMF far-infrared sauna with near-infrared supplementation, along with mercury chelators like zeolite, modified citrus pectin, high dose liposomal vitamin C, chlorella and alpha lipoic acid. I hope to publish it in the next few months.

Take Action — Tell FDA It’s Time to Ban Amalgam for Unborn and Young Children

If you haven’t done so already, I urge you to take a moment to sign Consumers for Dental Choice’s petition to the FDA. The agency admits amalgam poses a risk for unborn and young children. It admits there’s no proof amalgam is safe for use. Enough is enough. The time is well overdue for the FDA to take action on this issue to protect children and pregnant women from this well-recognized neurotoxin.

>>>>> Click Here <<<<<

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Breathing Program to Improve Mental and Physical Health in Two Weeks

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

It may be hard to believe, but 9 out of 10 adults breathe incorrectly, thereby impairing their health and exacerbating anxiety and depression. Fortunately, learning to breathe correctly is not a complicated affair.

In this interview, Belisa Vranich, a clinical psychologist and author of “Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health,” shares a breathing program she developed that can help improve your physical and mental health in a short amount of time.

Psychologists do not typically focus on breathing. As is often the case with health pioneers, it was her personal health problems that led Vranich onto this path.

“What happened is that one year in New York, I woke up and had this dull throbbing pain in my jaw. I went to the dentist and found out I was not only grinding my teeth, I was pulverizing them because of stress …  

Being someone who sort of thrived on stress, I reached a point where it wasn’t working for me anymore … [F]inding out I had to pay thousands of dollars to get teeth replaced and fixed was my [aha] moment.

Most people take a yoga class or have a stiff drink. I decided for the yoga class. I loved the breathing we did in yoga … When I left yoga, I tried to find other classes that had to do with breathing. Most of them were vague, as far as their scientific explanations of what was going on, although they were lovely …

[C]oming from a science background, I really wanted to know why things were happening … Long story short, I found all types of breathing in sports, martial arts, birthing, singing [and] free diving. I put all those practical elements together and came up with the breathing class I give now.

I went back to my own patients [who] had anxiety and depression, and it worked really well with them … They would spend chunks of the session really wanting to do breath work. That’s how the transition happened.”

Proper Breathing Is a Cornerstone of Good Health

In her book, “Breathe,” Vranich accurately points out that breathing is a cornerstone of good health, and that changing the way you breathe can have an enormous impact, improving your sleep, cognition, eating habits, resilience to stress and more.

It can even lower your inflammation level, improve gastrointestinal (GI) function, increase longevity and reduce pain. When you’re in pain, you tense up, which in turn affects your breathing, making it shallower. This actually makes the pain feel worse, and can lead to a vicious circle where the pain becomes constant.

When it comes to breathing style, there are two basic types: vertical and horizontal breathing. Most people breathe vertically. This type of breathing makes you feel a bit taller on the in-breath, as it raises your chest and shoulders.

“Unfortunately, it’s anatomically incongruous,” Vranich says. “Your neck and shoulders were never meant to be breathing muscles. You’re not using the best part of your lungs. You’re actually telling your nervous system that you are in a stressed-out state.

If you’re not already in a stressed-out state, it’s going to make you more stressed … Horizontally is the way you see all animals on the planet breathe. They breathe and widen where the biggest part of their lungs are …

If you ask a 5-year old to take a breath, they just widen like a little puffing fish … It’s their deep breath. It’s perfect. You take a 10-year-old and ask them to take a deep breath and all of a sudden, it’s completely changed.

The 10-year-old will raise their shoulders, puff up their little chests and take this vertical, apical breath. If it doesn’t happen by age 10, definitely by age 15 … What they’re doing is mimicking their parents and what they see around them …”

How to Address Dysfunctional Breathing

The origins of dysfunctional breathing can also be traced back to excessive sitting. The average American sits 13 to 16 hours a day, which puts your body into an unnatural posture. According to Vranich, your posture affects as much as 30 percent of your breathing.

You may also have learned improper breathing through sports. Constrictive clothing such as tight waist bands, compression garments and bra straps add to the problem. Sucking in your gut also worsens the situation.

“Even if you’re not pulling in your gut because you think it makes you look thinner, you’re bracing because of anxiety. Think about it. That’s actually a posture that most of us have very often,” Vranich says. “It’s this braced middle … because it makes us feel better.

We feel like we’re ready to run or to strike. The problem with all of those things is that it takes the breath and it pushes it up, [turning it into] a vertical breath …

Luckily, dismantling it is fairly easy because somewhere in your body, you remember having breathed horizontally … [and since] it does make you feel better [when breathing horizontally], you start doing it.”

The book, “Breathe,” is a useful resource that provides a variety of different exercises and strategies to address this dysfunctional breathing. One such strategy Vranich calls “rock and roll.” You can do it either standing or sitting.

Begin by relaxing and unbracing your midsection. Take a deep breath in and actually feel the middle of your body get wider. Let your belly go. On the exhale, roll backward, tipping your hips underneath you while pressing your fingers gently into your belly, giving it a little squeeze.

These movements are exaggerated because learning a new mechanical movement is easier if you start by exaggerating it. Eventually, this will teach your body to use the diaphragm to breathe. So, on the inhale, let your belly go. On the exhale, roll back and squeeze.

“This is the most important breath,” Vranich says. “If you do anything at all, this is the most wonderful one … You want to get yourself trained to breathe that way all the time.”

Remember to Engage Your Diaphragm When Breathing

One of the key things to remember is to work with and engage your diaphragm when breathing, as this will allow you to change your breathing more easily, and make the change permanent. This is what the “rock and roll” breathing exercise teaches you.

“[While] the Buteyko [Breathing technique] focuses on your carbon dioxide levels, breathing through your nose, and posits that most people over-breathe … I focus on style of breathing.

I really look to see where you’re breathing from, because in my experience that has been what really resonates with people and what creates the most change,” Vranich says. “Although I touch on Buteyko Breathing in my book, I try to bring in breathing exercises from as many different places as possible, because I want there to be information that resonates with a really diverse group of people.

I talk about breathing that happens in singing … in martial arts … In “Breathe,” I bring in everything I possibly can, as far as breathing, to really give you a choice to see which of these different exercises works for you. But my main gift, I’d like to think, is that I look at where you’re breathing from.”

You might know that muscles will atrophy from lack of use. If you’ve been breathing improperly for several decades, it may take some time to retrain your breathing muscles before you can breathe optimally. Even athletes can have weak breathing muscles, because in order to be strong, they have to be worked out separately. It doesn’t happen automatically simply because you’re breathing heavily, and it has nothing to do with lung capacity. Your breathing muscles include your:

  • Intercostals: Muscles that run between your ribs, allowing your chest wall to move
  • Diaphragm: That thin sheet of muscle that extends across your thoracic cavity below your heart and lungs, above your digestive system
  • Obliques: The largest, outermost muscles of the lateral, anterior abdomen that give you that six-pack look
  • Pelvic floor

How to Strengthen Your Breathing Muscles

Working those muscles and really engaging them when breathing will have a dramatic effect on your ability to breathe well. Your inhale is governed by your diaphragm, while the exhale is primarily governed by your intercostals and obliques. Oftentimes, feeling short of breath is due to insufficient exhalation leaving excess residual air in your lungs. With age, your intercostals and obliques can weaken, thereby weakening your ability to exhale fully.

“When I teach, I teach the extremes so that you understand the mechanics. I make that exhale a squeeze. When you think about exhaling, most people think, ‘Inhale, exhale, let go,’ and that really messes us up. That idea of ‘exhale, let go’ makes you relax and flop down when you actually want to be narrowing your body on the exhale …

If you can think about your belly button getting closer to your spine and even your ribs coming together, that’s a really good exhale, which will obviously make your next inhale much better,” Vranich explains.

While about 50 percent of people can change their breathing for the better simply by reading the book or taking a single-session breathing class, to really change your breathing for life, most people need to commit to doing the exercises several times a day for one to three weeks.

The Importance of Stretching

Stretching helps improve your range of motion and flexibility, and proper breathing is an important aspect of effective stretching as well. Conversely, stretching can also improve your breathing. Vranich explains: 

“Since your intercostals are two layers of muscle on the inside of your ribs, the best way you can stretch them is by inhaling and then stretching … [This opens] up the spaces between your ribs … Add air to the ribcage, on the inside, and then stretch. Add a little bit more. It’s called air packing — air packing comes from free diving — then stretch a little bit deeper. You can actually focus on the side that’s collapsing and give that a little crunch …

Now, I love spinal twists. If you don’t have any injuries, if you’ve been OK’d for doing spinal twists, doing spinal twists on the exhale will definitely get you deeper into the twist using the breath … Whatever chair you’re on, taking the back of your seat … and pulling yourself around on the exhale will get you deeper into the twist.”

More Information

Breathe: The Simple, Revolutionary 14-Day Program to Improve Your Mental and Physical Health” is a really excellent book if you want to explore different ways to improve your breathing. Vranich also teaches her breathing course live across the U.S. and conducts private sessions via Skype, Facetime or Google Hangout. An online course is also being prepared at the time of this interview.

Health professionals, such as physical therapists, life coaches, personal trainers, yoga instructors and other coaches and therapists of all kinds can also become certified breathing coaches through her Breathe Certification Teacher Training Program. This year, teacher trainings are scheduled for Los Angeles, San Francisco and London. At present, there are about 50 health professionals certified in her program. You can find more information about this, and a whole lot more, on

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How to Grow Great Lettuce

Article Source: Health And Fitness Journal

By Dr. Mercola

If you’re growing your own vegetables, now is the right time to start your lettuce. Lettuce of all kinds thrives in cool temperatures and consistently moist soil, so spring and fall, when temperatures are between 45 and 75 F, are the best times to grow them. Popular lettuce types include:

  • Loose-leaf varieties — Fast-growing delicate leaves that grow from a central stalk; cutting the outer leaves rather than pulling the whole head will allow the plant to keep growing new leaves to replace what you harvested
  • Butterhead (Boston) — Soft, tender leaves with white heart; requires cool weather and optimal soil quality to thrive
  • Mesclun blends — Spicier greens such as radicchio and mustard add flavor and color to your salads
  • Romaine — Heat-tolerant with crunchy long leaves. Use red or red-speckled varieties to add color to your meal
  • Crisphead (iceberg) — Heat-hardy with thick, crunchy leaves, high in fiber but low in overall nutrition

When and What to Plant for Spring

First, check your Farmer’s Almanac (The Old Farmer’s Almanac is now available online1) to find the last frost date for your local area. Lettuce should be sown six weeks before the last frost date. Ideal soil temperature is between 55 and 75 F. Within this range, seeds will sprout in two to eight days.

If your seeds resist sprouting, they’re probably too old. Lettuce seed should be replaced annually. Fresh seeds have a germination rate of about 80 percent, and a single standard seed packet will produce about 80 heads of lettuce.

Make sure your soil is rich in humus and retains moisture well, as the soil should never be allowed to dry out. Lettuce also needs plenty of nitrogen.  To ensure a continuous spring crop, plant your lettuce as follows:2,3,4

1. Plant seeds in cold frames six weeks before your last spring frost date.

2. At the same time, start another batch of seeds indoors under growing lights. When the seedlings are three weeks old, place them outside for two to three days to adjust before transplanting them into your planting bed.

For the first few days, use a shade cover to protect the tender plants from excessive sun and wind exposure. Reducing watering and exposing the seedlings to lower temperatures for three days before transplanting them into your garden will toughen them up further.

3. Two weeks before your last spring frost date, direct seed another batch in your garden. If the weather threatens to warm up considerably, be sure to use more heat-tolerant varieties.

Be mindful of the fact that if the soil is too warm, germination may not occur. You can encourage germination by placing the seeds on wet blotting paper and refrigerating them for five days before planting them.

4. As the seedlings begin to grow, you’ll need to thin the lettuce to allow adequate growing room. Begin thinning when the seedlings have four leaves.

Thin leaf lettuce so the plants are 4 to 6 inches apart; butterheads, 3 to 5 inches; romaine varieties need about 10 to 12 inches; and head lettuce needs about 12 to 16 inches. Rows should be about 18 inches apart.

5. Water daily. The soil must not be allowed to dry out as this will make the leaves thin and bitter. Lettuce has shallow roots, so the soil surface should be kept moist but not soggy. Adding a thick layer of mulch will help retain water and cool the soil. If the weather gets too hot, put up a shade cover.

Fall Crop Growing Tips

For a fall crop, find the date of your first fall frost and start planting seeds eight weeks before the frost date. Direct seed batches every one to two weeks for a continuous fall crop. Once you’re a month out from your first frost date, be sure to sow only cold-tolerant varieties such as the following.5

Alternatively, use a mixed seed packet, which can contain a dozen or more varieties. The hardiest ones will survive.

? Green Forest

? Hyper Red Wave

? Merlot

? Midnight Ruffles

? New Red Fire

? Oscarde

? Panisse

? Pablo

? Red Salad Bowl

? Salad Bowl

? Winter Marvel (Bibb variety)

? Winter Wonderland (Romaine)

Planting and Harvesting Tips

If you’re using a planting bed, loosen the top 10 inches of soil and mix in about an inch’s worth of compost. Seeds should be planted at a depth of about one-fourth inch, with 1 inch between seeds.

If you want, you may simply scatter the seed across your planting bed, but be sure to thin and transplant the seedlings as they start to pop up.

Lettuce can also be grown in containers, or you can add them to your flower beds as edible greenery. Growing several different varieties and planting a new batch every week or two will provide you with fresh salad greens for several months out of the year.

Adding compost or fish emulsion once or twice during growing season will promote speedy growth. If the soil is too dry, the plants can start seeding early, at which point they tend to get really bitter. Pull and discard any plant that goes to seed.

If you want to save seeds, save only those from the very last plants that go to seed, as early seeding is an undesirable trait. To prevent the seed head from toppling over, you may need to stake the plant. Once the seed pods are plump, gather them and store in a paper bag in a cool, dry place.

Harvesting is simple: If you need the whole head, simply cut the head off near the soil line. Alternatively, just cut some of the mature leaves from the outside with a pair of scissors, leaving the center in place. New leaves will continue to fill in.

The best time to harvest is in the morning, after they’ve had time to plump up with water overnight. Rinse with cool water and pat dry before storing in the refrigerator.

Harvesting your lettuce while still immature is a simple way to get more nutrition out of your lettuce. After about two to three weeks, when the plants have reached a height of about 2 inches, they’re considered microgreens. At a height of about 4 inches, they’re known as “baby greens.”

Both microgreens and baby greens are packed with higher densities of nutrients than full-grown vegetables.

Addressing Pests Without Chemicals

Common pests and ways to address them without toxic pesticides are as follows:

Slugs — Signs of a slug problem include smooth-edged holes in the outer leaves. Simple remedies include collecting them by hand (use gloves), trapping them in beer traps, or spraying cold coffee on infested plants until you see no further sign of infestation. When these approaches fail, I have had great success with Monterey Sluggo, which is OMRI certified for organic gardens.

Aphids — Aphids are typically found in the folds between leaves. Simply spraying them off with cool water can help. Ladybugs and syrphid fly larvae6 (also known as hover flies or flower flies; often mistaken for bees and wasps) are natural predators that can quickly suppress an aphids infestation.

You can tell you have active syrphid fly populations in your garden if you see black oily smears on plant foliage. This is the excrement of the larvae. If you don’t have an active syrphid fly population, you can buy live ladybugs (available online) and apply them to your garden.7

Before releasing them, refrigerate the live ladybugs for 30 minutes. It’s best to release them in the evening, so be sure to time it properly. Spray some water on the lower portion of the area infected with aphids, then sprinkle the chilled ladybugs on the lower half of the plant. The chilling will slow the ladybug’s metabolism, basically putting them to sleep for the night.

As the sun warms them up in the morning, they’ll start scavenging for food and laying eggs. So, even though many will fly away, the eggs will hatch larvae that continue feeding on the aphids, and the grown ladybugs will continue the lifecycle of laying eggs and controlling pests in your garden.

Cutworms (moth larvae)8You will typically see these caterpillars in your garden in the evening, after dusk, which is when they start to feed. During daylight hours, they can be hard to find as they curl up in different hiding spots. Cutworms can do severe damage, as they chew through the plant’s stem at the very base of the plant. They also feed on plant roots. Usually, infested plants cannot be salvaged.

To prevent cutworms, place a 4-inch-tall plant collar made from cardboard around each plant stem. Save and reuse toilet paper tubes for this purpose. Simply cut the tube in half, lengthwise, and down the center to slip it around the plant. Another alternative is to pick off the cutworms by hand. Go out after dark and use a flashlight to find them.

Place the cutworms in a bucket of soapy water. Repeat every few nights until the infestation is under control. Other chemical-free treatment alternatives include the following:

? Sprinkle used coffee grounds or ground up egg shells around your plants

? Sprinkle diatomaceous earth around each plant

? Use oak leaves as mulch around the plants

? Plant tansy near cabbages to ward off cutworms

? Fireflies are a natural predator to cutworms, so if you have them in your garden, consider yourself lucky

Preventing Plant Disease

While lettuce needs moist soil, poor drainage can lead to soggy soil that promotes bottom rot and gray mold. As a general guide, only plant lettuce in the same spot once every three years. This will prevent many soilborne diseases. To avoid bottom rot, make sure the soil is moist but well drained. Planting your lettuce on ridges elevated about 4 inches can be helpful.

Also avoid wetting the leaves when watering. Gently fold the leaves off to the side with one hand and only water the soil. Gray mold produces grayish-green or dark brown spots on the leaves. Any infected plants should be pulled and discarded far from your garden to avoid spreading.

Regrow Romaine Lettuce in a Bowl of Water

As seen in the video above, regrowing romaine lettuce requires nothing more than a shallow bowl and some water. Once you’ve cut off the leaves, leaving a couple of inches’ worth of the head, simply place it in a bowl with one-half inch of water. Replace the water daily. New leaves will begin to sprout from the center, eventually regrowing the entire plant.

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